Cup Stuff Blog

Ruminating All Things NASCAR

It’s Time For Someone To Take Out ‘Digger’

Posted by Keith Murray on February 18, 2009

FOX has totally lost it. It’s bad enough that a bunch of grown men have to endure, “Boogity, boogity, boogity” every week, but we have also been subjected to a bad theme song – “Let’s Go Racing, Boys” – and an even worse cartoon character named Digger. Ratings are down again to start this year for the third year in a row, yet FOX is going to keep trying the tried and (un)true practices that have not helped – and possibly hindered – the growth of the sport. And to make matters worse, we had to watch a cartoon episode they made with this Digger character. When they started talking about Digger, everyone that was gathered in front of the TV Sunday started talking about how bad it was and was upset we would have to endure that again this year. And when the cartoon episode came on, that was all we could take. I had the remote in my hand and I flipped it over to another channel for about 15 minutes. I wonder how their advertisers would feel about that.

What I really cannot understand is how they can peddle that stuff when they had full knowledge that the rain was forecast to hit Daytona in the early evening. We also had to endure a Keith Urban concert. I mean, come on. Nothing against Keith Urban (at least he can sing in tune), but if I want to see Keith Urban, I can switch over to CMT or go to iTunes and listen to his music. I want to see a RACE. What they should have done was just let Urban sing the National Anthem so we would not have to endure that joke of a singer that modulated to four different keys. His name was Gavin something-or-another. It should have been “Gavin Butcher,” because he butchered the National Anthem.

I love being an ambassador of NASCAR. I love to talk it up and try to bring new fans into the sport; and I have succeeded in several cases with friends and family. I also have friends that love to joke about me wasting my time watching cars “go in circles.” What is ironic is that some getting their laughs at my expense will not miss a golf match on TV. I grew up and still live in the Augusta, GA area – the home of that little golf tournament every April, but are you kidding me? People watching some dude knocking a little ball around the course where you have to stay deathly quiet or you are asked to leave is more exciting than burning rubber and roaring engines? That is laughable! I’ll take the manly-man stuff over guys wearing knickers any day. But my ambassadorship is being undermined by stupid network tactics. Instead of thinking that racing is a joke, they can think that about our spoort without having to see a single lap because of the nonsense on the FOX broadcast if they were to tune in to try it out one time.

What makes FOX think that we want to see that Digger graphic every time they show the camera shot from a camera buried in the asphalt? The shot of the action is pretty cool, but I actually got mad about the third time they covered up racing action with Digger getting “scared” by the oncoming cars. The truth is, most of the time when he turns around with that grin on his face and sees the oncoming cars, numerous cars have already passed by him. My vote would be to see him become roadkill like any other critter that moseys out into traffic. Or better yet, let’s see a segment where Elmer Fudd hunts him down and is successful in taking him out of our misery.

If FOX had foregone the cartoons and the concert, we probably could have gotten to see the race run to completion instead of being rained-out. And trust me – fans are more interested in seeing good racing than some cartoon character. They have a channel for that, too. It’s called the Cartoon Network. Let them handle the cartoons, and you guys find a way to put on a better race. You could start by firing the cartoon department and assign them to make sure that we don’t miss any more green flag restarts.

I know some people actually like Digger – although I do not personally know of a single racing fan that does. But even if it was a good marketing idea (which it is not), it played out last year and now they are just beating a dead horse. The better option would be to beat a dead gopher and let’s get back to seeing more racing and less marketing antics that are old, tired, and just plain dumb. Follow the advice of your theme song and DW, and “Let’s Go RACING, Boys.”

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One Response to “It’s Time For Someone To Take Out ‘Digger’”

  1. Mary Ellen said

    It is a good thing I am a die-hard NASCAR fan, because after reading your blog, I would never watch the sport again. It seems trivial to me to complain about something like a theme song or a character that alot of people really like. FOX does the best job at televising and commentating than any other network that hosts NASCAR. Race times are pre determined by the tracks, so it doen’t really matter if they have Digger or a concert for the pre-race show, we still get to see the race. Besides, the last time I checked, NASCAR had not control over the weather.

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